Communities with installed solar in the U.S. generated a combined 4.9 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in the second quarter of 2022, according to a new study released today by Wood Mackenzie and the Community Solar Access Alliance (CCSA). , it is estimated that in the next five years, the scale of community solar energy in the United States will exceed 7GW.
For U.S. homes and businesses that don’t have access to rooftop solar, they can order electricity shared by local solar facilities and earn points on their utility bills. As explained by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
Community solar provides equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar power regardless of the physical attributes or ownership of an individual home or business. In other words, if you can’t install solar directly on your property, community solar can be a great option to reap the savings and other benefits of solar.
Together with Washington D.C., there are currently at least 41 states with at least one community-run solar project. The Biden administration wants community solar to reach 5 million homes by 2025, saving $1 billion on energy bills.
SEIA forecasts total U.S. community solar capacity to increase to 4.3GW as of June 7, but Wood Mackenzie increased its 2022-2026 forecast by 477MW, an 11% increase from its previous forecast, and will increase Its outlook is extended to 2027.
Much of the growth Wood Mackenzie sees comes from new community solar markets such as New Mexico and Delaware, as well as adjustments to existing state forecasts as state programs expand and rules are updated. Illinois and New York are the biggest changes in state-level forecasts. New York, with 1.3GW of projects expected to come online between now and 2027, is expected to continue to lead the US states when it comes to community solar.